03 February 2014

Big Ship Preview- The Rebel Transport Expansion

As mentioned Friday, FFG has revealed a little more info regarding the aptly titled Rebel Transport Expansion. If you're hardcore, you've undoubtedly already read up on the topic, but for the more casual amongst us, here's the lowdown so far- 

1. Release Date
If you look at FFG's Upcoming page, you'll see the following- 

Long story short? Don't get your hopes up for anything dropping soon. Q2 is the listed release (which is April, May, or June) and they're still listed as being "In Development." I try not to be all Debbie Downer about this stuff, but look, that's the reality of the situation- it's gonna be awhile yet. 

2. Contents of the Expansion
For the MSRP of $60, you get all kinds of fun stuff! 

I'm just going to kind of free-associate some thoughts looking at the contents here- 

Not only does the Transport have it's own dial, it has it's own template. I only see one pilot card for it, which kinda makes me think maybe these big ships work a little differently than the ships we've seen up to this point. What I mean is, I think there's just one GR-75, but depending on who you have driving it, some different things happen. This is strictly conjecture on my part, by the way. When I say, "I think", that's exactly what I mean. As opposed to, uh, you know, "I know." 

There are six X-Wing pilot cards. +Timothy East said back on Friday we're looking at Wes Janson (PS8 and Elite Pilot Skills), Jek Porkins (PS7 and Elite Pilot Skills), Hobbie Klivian (PS5), and Tarn Mison (PS3). How does he know? Squints better than I do, apparently. :) Nah, seriously- if you look really closely at a zoomed in pic of that contents shot, you can kinda make out the names enough to figure out, "Oh, that's Porkins. Oh that's Janson." You can make out their PS values pretty easily and knowing what X-Wings have available to them currently, you can make some pretty solid guesses as to the guys with EPS as they're peeking out there at the bottom. Who are the other two? A Red and a Rookie it looks like to me. That rules card there on the end? Yeah, I don't know. Can't make out what that first word is, but maybe some of y'all have. 

The FFG article that intros the GR-75 makes mention of a new damage deck which apparently comes in two parts- one for the front of the ship and one for the ass-end. The way the article reads, different stuff happens depending on where you're hitting it. I'm guessing that's all those cards there in the lower right. 

Those upgrade cards are probably Crew, Energy Upgrades, maybe a Modification or two, and probably Torps for the X-Wings. A couple of them look familiar, but I can't make out anything well enough to say for sure. I'm sure you guys have probably already read what they are- if so, tell me in the comments. 

There are a ton of other doo dads and whatnots floating around in that picture. Your guess is as good as mine as to which tokens are for the new Epic Game Format (read that aloud in a Monster Truck announcer voice with a lot of reverb for the full effect) and which are for a scenario that undoubtedly has been included with the ship. I'm most interested in those squares with the arcs of fire and glowing blobs on them. 

Those other cards are probably Crew Members, Energy Upgrades, maybe a Modification or two, and probably Torps for the X-Wings. 

3. Energy and the New Rules
So as you've likely noticed, this thing doesn't have a primary attack value, instead there's a purple value that FFG says is "Energy." 

The Intro article says the four Actions in the bar are Recover (energy), Reinforce, Jam, and Coordinate. It would appear that you generate Energy each round one way or another- either automatically or through another Action. Not sure, they don't really say. 

Recover lets you spend your Energy to regain Shields. Now, I don't know how into minutiae (I spelled that right the first time? Go me!) you are, but the way it reads in the intro, if you Recover, you have to spend all of your stored Energy. Maybe that's a big deal, maybe it isn't, but it kinda popped out at me. Also, for every point of Energy you spend, you get back a Shield. 

Reinforce says you can add an Evade result to all Defense results, but only on a section of the ship (the front or the back). This seems to imply the ship has some way of generating a defense result as it seems to have a zero defense. 

Jam lets you give Darth Helmet the raspberries as long as he's within Range 1-2 of you, er, let's you assign up to two Stress Tokens to an enemy ship within Range 1-2. 

Coordinate lets you throw a friendly ship at 1-2 a Free Action. 

The article then goes on to say the Recover Action is the only one that explicitly calls for the use of Energy. 

The funky symbol there in the ship's title? I'm going out on a limb and saying that's the big ship/ Epic Format only symbol. The rest of it? Two Crew and three of the new Upgrades. I want to call them Energy Upgrades, but I don't think that's going to end up being accurate. I'm guessing they're Big Ship Upgrades. Who knows though? Could be wrong. 

In any case, they've revealed a few of them already- 

Ok, so the thing that kinda jumps out at me here is this doesn't appear to actually require an Action. Which leads me to believe either A) There's a Perform Action Energy, or B) there's a particlar phase where the Transport can spend Energy. Depending on the outcome of that, timing can be determined at which point this card either becomes, "Cool" or "Holy friggin' Mackerel- that's awesome!"

Jump outs here? The bearer has to declare use before the other ship fires. The "if possible" thing shouldn't be too damn hard to exploit with the GR-75's huge footprint and the fact that if possible includes everybody's primaries, so huge footprint + Range 1-3 basically. 

Ok, so here's a card that's an Action but also calls for the expenditure of Energy, so I guess there's no Perform Action Energy, huh? Man, if the Imperials had this card on something? Kath Scarlet anyone? Sheesh!